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Chris Jones

Las Vegas to Discuss Trademark Sale

2 September 2005

LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has scheduled two special committee meetings to discuss potential policy changes in the wake of last year's controversial $1 sale of the "What happens here, stays here" trademark.

The first gathering is set for Tuesday, when the four participating board members will further address this month's report by the law firm Morrison & Foerster.

The committee's recommendations from next week will be presented by Chairman Oscar Goodman to the rest of the authority's 14-member board when it reconvenes Sept. 13. The board will further discuss potential changes then.

Luke Puschnig, the authority's legal counsel, said Tuesday those involved in the review will proceed carefully.

"If we're going to change board policies, we need to make sure it's done right," Puschnig said.

After Sept. 13, the board's recommendations would next be re-evaluated by the committee, which will work with Morrison & Foerster to create a written version of the suggested policy changes.

Those revisions will be further reviewed at an Oct. 6 committee meeting, and again by the full board on Oct. 11.

All of the meetings are open to the public.

The law firm's San Francisco office investigated a November 2004 sale agreement between authority President Rossi Ralenkotter and R&R Partners, the authority's outside advertising agency that developed the popular marketing slogan three years ago.

Several board members said they should have been told of the sale in advance, a step that was not required when Ralenkotter made the deal.

Morrison & Foerster found no evidence of wrongdoing by Ralenkotter, R&R or the authority's staff members. Still, it recommended several policy changes, including maintaining ownership of authority trademarks, and ceasing its reliance on outside parties to protect its intellectual property.